Board of Supervisors May 3, 2011
The Board of Supervisors met in Regular Session on Tuesday May 3, 2011 at the Downieville Courthouse.
The meeting began as usual with the Pledge of Allegiance, Roll Call, Approval of Consent and Regular Agenda and Correspondence to be addressed by the Board.
The first sign of unrest began when Supervisor Scott Schlefstein asked that a letter be read from Ingrid Larson, Foreperson of the Sierra County Grand Jury requesting a response from the Supervisors to the Interim Report on the Sierra County Jail.
Public Comment began with a local businesswoman asking the Board what the status of the location of the new courthouse, what was happening because people needed to know if there would be any demolition of surrounding buildings and that the existing courthouse was really dirty and an eyesore. Chairman Lee Adams said the Board would do their best to get an update, however it is a State project and the Board had no control. He added regardless the existing eyesore would remain in place as County offices and there are no plans to remove it.
Department Managers and Genice Froelich, North Yuba District Ranger gave updates on various activities.
Auditor Van Maddox received approval to contract for financial audit services.
A letter is to be sent to Mark Stopher, (see elsewhere) regarding the Draft Subsequent Environmental Impact Report on proposed suction dredging regulation of the California Dept of Fish and Game was discussed and approved to be sent. The letter expressed deep concerns over the manner and locations of the public outreach program.
A Resolution authorizing acceptance of deeds for real property known as the Downieville Community Hall building and property from the Downieville Fire Protection District was approved followed by a Resolution approving a lease agreement for the DFPD to continue the historic use of the fire bay portion of the Downieville Community Hall.
The County Forester Services funding was discussed with the possibility that a portion of the $7,000.00 contract be paid from both Title III funds and the county general fund; a Resolution of Intent was approved.
Good news, cheered by all in attendance including the Supes is from May 10 through June 10 there will be a vehicle disposal fee amnesty month program at the County Landfill.
Be sure to let your neighbor know. Now if we could only figure out some way to get those useless hunks of metal to the Landfill.
OES Coordinator Lee Brown was given approval to issue an RFP for a consultant, costing approximately $59,000.00 to develop a Hazard Mitigation Plan as required by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. This allows the county to identify potential problem areas of flood, fire and other emergencies and quality for FEMA funding in such event.
Julie Osburn of Friends of Independence Lake had requested a Public Records Information and documents for “all communications, documents and Electronically stored information relating to maintained road mileage and state and federal funds requested and received” for various Sierra County Roads including the Independence Lake Road “since 1970”. Tim Beals explained to the Board and a FIL representative this would involve a month or more of a staff members time and there were documents stored in 300+ boxes that would have to be gone through. It was decided to wait for further clarification from Ms. Osburn to see exactly what was necessary, a request had been sent to her on April 28.
An Appeal of Solid Waste Assessment Fees filed by Joe Arata of Sierra City and was discussed at length by Assessor Laura Marshall and the Board. The decision was a Resolution of Intent to deny the appeal to be voted on at the next Board meeting. The delay is to properly word the denial by County Counsel Jim Curtis.
Sheriff John Evans, and representatives of the California Highway Patrol from Portola, Truckee and Grass Valley along with U.S. Forest Service representatives discussed mixed-use vehicular policies for OHV and OSV on unpaved roads. The issue was referred to the Road Committee.
Jane Schmidt, Natural Resource Specialist of the Bureau of Reclamation presented the proposed project called Stampede Dam Safety of Dams Modification. The $30 million dollar project would raise the dam 10 feet to avoid dam failure.
The official statement fro BOR is “The Bureau of Reclamation has determined that dam safety deficiencies exist at Stampede Dam. Recent investigations conducted under the Reclamation’s Safety of Dams Program revealed that during an estimated 75,000 year flood event,” (yes that’s right 75,000 years) “Stampede Dam would be overtopped by floodwater, resulting in dam failure. Failure of Stampede dam would result in the probable loss of life, failure of downstream dams, downstream property damage, and the loss of stored water for fishery enhancement along the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake Fishway facilities operation. Action is needed to meet Reclamation’s Guidelines for Achieving Public Protection.”
According to Schmidt, Sierra County would be the lead agency. The Board thought this was odd based on its’ limited ability to have any say or control but it had something to do with NEPA or CEQA. There would be road closures during the rehab and this concerned the Supervisors. A concerned citizen said this should be looked at as $30 million project coming to Sierra County and as lead agency we could possibly request hire and buy local issues to help our economy. At any rate the project will not begin until 2013 or 2014.Supervisor Adams wondered why the water couldn't just be dropped and released prior to the 75,000-year event. Schmidt said this possibility had been dropped early in the planning stage.
Martini Morris, Project Assistant to the Sierra Business Council made a presentation regarding Geotourism and the great opportunities it gives Sierra County to advertise our unique opportunities to our tourists and the local businesses. The Board is impressed and happy to have this opportunity and urges everyone in the county to participate by going to www.SierraNevadaGeotourism.org to make nominations of your favorite spot in the county.